April 26, 2022, 7:30 p.m.–July 23, 2022, 9:30 p.m.

“Eat Your Catfish” Documentary Film Screenings

IU Cinema, French Lick, Brown County Playhouse

Years with ALS have left Kathryn paralyzed and needing 24-hour care. With her mind intact and having opted for mechanical breathing, she could live like this indefinitely. But the situation has embittered and alienated her husband Said, and proved too much for many nurses and aides. Her grown son Noah, who lives with Kathryn and Said in their New York City apartment, struggles to balance his academic obligations with those he feels to his mother. The disease has also been a destructive force complicating relations between everyone in her family. Kathryn often falls into despair, but she has been holding on to see her daughter’s wedding day. This project draws on 930 hours of footage—all filmed without any crew present from a fixed camera from Kathryn’s point of view. The result is a profoundly intimate, layered and wryly funny portrait of a family at its breaking point.Co-directed by IU postdoctoral fellow Noah Amir Arjomand with Adam Isenberg and Senem Tüzen, with an original score composed by Jacobs School of Music alumnus and Jon Vickers Scoring Award winner Daniel Whitworth. Directed by Senem Tüzen, Adam Isenberg, and Noah Amir Arjomand.

The film had its world premiere at the International Documentary Filmfestival in Amsterdam, and its U.S. premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

View the trailer for the film.

Visit the website for the film.

IU Cinema, April 26th, 7:00 p.m.

Free but ticketed. Filmmakers Adam Isenberg and Noah Amir Arjomand are scheduled to be present for a post-screening Q&A moderated by IU Professor Emerita Kathleen Gilbert.

Please note:

  • Due to their limited screening schedule and currently reduced seating capacity, IU Cinema strongly encourages patrons to get tickets online in advance to avoid getting sold out.
  • No standby or late seating.

The Sanctuary (Old Springs Valley United Methodist Church), April 29, 7:00 p.m.

537 S. Maple Street, French Lick, IN. No cost, but donations are encouraged. RSVP via EventBrite or just show up! This screening is a partnership with the Black Vulture Project and the venue’s owner, Sarah Stivers. Filmmakers Adam Isenberg and Noah Amir Arjomand are scheduled to be present for a post-screening discussion with Andrew Gerber.

Brown County Playhouse, July 23, 7:30 p.m.

70 S. Van Buren Street, Nashville, IN. General admission tickets are $12.00. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker Noah Amir Arjomand is scheduled to be present for a post-screening Q&A.

Adam Isenberg‘s debut documentary, A Life Without Words (2011), told the story of two deaf siblings in rural Nicaragua who had been denied access to a sign-language community. Like Eat Your Catfish, it explored complex family dynamics, limits of communication, and questions of belonging. During 10 years living in Turkey, Isenberg hosted and, along with Senem Tüzen, co-created and co-directed the long-running travel documentary series Adem’in Seyir Defteri on Turkish State television. He co-produced and co-edited Tüzen’s debut fiction feature Motherland (2015), which premiered in Venice and earned two FIPRESCI prizes, among other accolades.

Noah Amir Arjomand is a sociologist and the Mark Helmke Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Media, Development, and Democracy at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School. Noah’s photography has been published in The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and PBS Frontline. Cambridge University Press recently published his first book, Fixing Stories, on news fixers who assist foreign journalists in Turkey and Syria. Eat Your Catfish is his film debut.

Kathleen R. Gilbert, PhD, is Professor Emerita in the Department of Applied Health Science in the IUB School of Public Health. She has taught and conducted research in the field of thanatology (death, dying, and bereavement) for over 30 years. Her scholarly and academic background has focused on individual and family resilience and ways in which individuals and families cope with and make sense of both death and non-death losses. Her research interests are varied and, among others, include loss and bereavement in the family, social dynamics within the family following the death of a family member, and loss and grief experienced by third-culture kids. She currently serves on the Board of the National Widowers’ Organization.

Andrew Gerber has worked as a hospice nurse, guitar builder, carpenter, member of a rock band, poet, and teacher. He has degrees in Religion and Nursing. He is who he is because of the gifts he has received from his friends and family, the people of East Africa, and the many people in Chicago who shared a part of their dying with him. He, his partner, and their co-conspirators live in Southern Indiana. They are cultivating a space for grieving and the arts.

This project was partially supported by Indiana University’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Arts and Humanities Council, and New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program.

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